When most people begin to plan their college journey, they expect to pick the perfect school, absolutely love it and spend all four years at a place they call ‘home’. What most people don’t expect is to pick the wrong school, get extremely sick, then think about transferring but get scared, all to finally transfer to a new school in the middle of their sophomore year. I know because this certainly wasn’t the plan I envisioned for myself.
Choosing to transfer was one of the hardest things I have ever done but I don’t regret it for a second. I spent a year and a half of my life forcing myself to stay at a place where I was unhappy, constantly felt like I didn’t belong and was stressed out so much that I triggered a flare-up of a preexisting medical condition that sent me to the hospital. All of these were clear signs that I so blatantly ignored as I continued to blame myself, instead of my previous school, for being the problem.
After the hospital, I was depressed, isolated and felt like no one could understand my situation. I began to consider moving back home and going to a school closer to where I lived. I knew I couldn’t keep forcing myself to keep going back to a place that literally made me sick, but I was afraid of losing everything I had accomplished. I had straight A’s, won awards, made connections with the professors and deans of my major’s departments… but I wasn’t happy. Instead of choosing my happiness, I finished out the year and declined my acceptance to the other school I applied to.
As summer started, I ignored the fact that I had to go back to that school in the fall and simply shut it out of my mind. However, I couldn’t ignore my problems forever as the summer was halfway over and the thoughts of school began to creep back into my head and even the slightest mention of school would put me in a panic. I finally knew what I had to do (and not back out of) so I took the plunge and started to apply to different schools. By the end of the summer, I was still visiting and applying to schools and had to face the reality that I had to go back to my previous school and finish out the semester.
I spent those four months emailing different admissions counselors, coming home on the weekends for tours and digging myself into a hole of online reviews of each school I applied to. After going back and forth between different options, locations, and tuition prices, I chose to attend Fordham. I picked my dream since high school, a dream that so many others told me (and I believed) was unattainable. When something is right you just feel it in your gut, and that’s how I felt walking around campus, talking to other students and meeting with professors. I have felt more joy and connection with others in my two and a half weeks at Fordham than I ever did in my year and a half at my old school.
Taking this step to transfer has become a monumental moment in my life. I always believed that everything happened for a reason but had begun to doubt it as time went on. I couldn’t understand why I had spent so much of my high school and college life experiencing so much pain and unhappiness. Now I know why. Everything I went through truly changed me as a person, made me realize what I deserve in life and led me to the place where I belong.
Always remember that academic success does not equate happiness and it is always one hundred percent okay to take the steps in life that are best for you… not your teachers, parents, peers or the picture-perfect college ideal.